“Chaos is opportunity”, said recently David Greenberg, Director of Business Development College of Business of Florida Atlantic University, during an interview before delivering to a pack room his “Financial Leadership and Entrepreneurship” conversation, at Broward & Beyond Business conference.
As a 9/11 survivor, Mr. Greenberg has complete authority of those words. According to the 9/11 Tribute Center “he was able to help the exchange get back into operation in one week. It was the only building in the WTC area to be open during the first few months. NYMEX brought over 1,000 people in by ferry to operate and keep the market open”.
Lecturer, financial expert and motivational speaker, Mr. Greenberg gave sound advice for new entrepreneurs:
-La Familia de Broward: You’re a 9/11 survivor, how can that experience inspire and benefit new entrepreneurs?
-David Greenberg: (In 9/11) We were in the New York Mercantile Exchange, where the world of oil is trade. When the Exchange went down, I got a call from the White House -meeting in the board with chairman Vinny Viola- to get it up and running the next day. What you learn from chaos is that you have to be prepared to understand that there is opportunity in it.
In every business there is going to be times that chaos happens. What I teach in my lectures is that you can be the person in the room that when everybody is just freaking out -when they said ‘oh my God the sky is falling’- you can take a breath and go, ‘OK, this isn’t fatal’. This we learn in 9/11; If you lived through it, you realized it’s not fatal and worked it out. If you realized that, and you take a breath, take a step back, and take the emotion out the problem and work the problem, there is nothing that you can’t solve.
The problem that most people have when something occurs in business, is that they just panic and think the world is coming to and end. They think ‘what are people going to say, or do?The thing is, by the way, it doesn’t matter what people say or do, the question is what are you going to do?
When I talked to my students, I asked them, are you going to be a CEO one day? They told me sure, when I am 40. I told them; No, I am making you a CEO today. How? (they ask) I am making you the CEO of your own life. One thing an entrepreneur has to understand -starting at any age-, is that they have to be the CEO of their own life before they become a CEO of a business. They can’t make excuses and have to take full responsibility and not blame anybody else. Once you accept that, you realize that you will make some mistakes and making them isn’t the worst thing in the world. Relax, work the problem, function. This chaos is opportunity.
LF: What is happening in Broward county in terms of business?DG: Broward County in the coming years is going to be the jewel of South Florida. Everybody talks about Miami and West Palm for different reasons -all good reasons- but I think what you are going to see is the next evolution of what Broward can and will be in the future. There is a concerted effort as you see in this conference to help lift everybody in this county to give them more options, more concepts, more ideas and how to not only better themselves but better the county itself.